Thursday 30 April 2009

Ahoy, Captain Sensible!

Fellow Blogger Rog T has unfairly criticised Deputy Council Leader Matthew Offord, whom he describes as Captain Useless. Earlier this year Cllr Offord did make a rather foolish remark by suggesting that the council tax rise was actually a tax cut because it was lower than the rate of inflation (which it wasn’t), but on this occasion the prospective parliamentary candidate for Hendon has made some rather sensible comments in his blog on the Barnet Times.

Matthew is taking part in the Fastnet sailing race and as someone who has never attempted anything more daunting than the paddle boats at Alexandra Palace, I admire his courage.

In his blog, Matthew says: “A criticism of politicians is that many do not have any interests outside of politics – making them very one-dimensional. This leads to a cerebral paralysis where they can’t see anything but what they are doing and often cannot accept that other people’s experiences are just as, if not more, valid than their own.”

This is a refreshingly frank admission from an aspiring MP. There are far too many politicians who have no life whatsoever outside of the political village, whose only friends are politicos who only ever want to talk about politics and their socialising consists entirely of cosy Friday night dinners with fellow members of their little clique.

Mathew concedes that having outside experience makes politicians better at their jobs and he also acknowledges that those of us who live in the real world do generally know what we are talking about.

Cllr Offord’s blog also contains a coded message about the value of teamwork. I wonder who on Earth he could possibly have been referring to when he said that no single person can do everything?


Rog T said...


I criticised Matthew because it's meant to be a blog about sailing, not politicians. This reiinforces my view that all he's really interested in is politics. Even the quotes you give from his sailing blog are about politicians.

The term hoisted by his own petard comes to mind. I said that if he sticks to the sailing, I won't criticise it

Don't Call Me Dave said...


I liked the subliminal message of Cllr Offord’s blog that without teamwork, you are sunk. On a yacht, this is perhaps self evident, but in the environment of the council chamber, perhaps not so.

All councillors should be working for the team – delivering better services for residents at a reasonable cost. Instead, members of the current Administration seem to be content serving the interests of only a select few of their own number. That is how the council gets away with depositing £27.4 million of our money in a reckless investment scheme.